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Mudslides caused by Eta rains kill 50 in Guatemala, storm heading toward US

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(NEW YORK) — Eta remnants are now emerging in the western Caribbean Sea between Belize and Honduras and are forecast to strengthen into a tropical storm later Friday and head north. It could threaten Florida this weekend.

Mudslides, due to heavy rain from Eta, killed at least 50 people in Guatemala Thursday. At least 40 inches of rain fell in the region.

Heavy rains have caused multiple landslides, and overflowed rivers and ravines, in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Costa Rica. Thousands of people have been evacuated, and more than 100,000 are without electricity.

On satellite images, Eta’s new center is seen emerging in the western Caribbean Sea near Belize.

The official National Hurricane Center path shows that new Eta circulation is expected to strengthen over the Caribbean Sea Friday and turn into a tropical storm. It could have winds near 60 mph by Sunday as it crosses Cuba.

After that, Eta will be a strong tropical storm with winds near 65 mph as it nears south Florida on Sunday night.

Early next week, Eta will be in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, bringing flooding rain to Florida and parts of the Southeast.

Most models now agree that Eta will move north over Cuba and near Florida this weekend into early next week, bringing torrential rainfall and gusty winds to the state. Locally, a foot of rain is possible in southern Florida, with flash flooding a threat.

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